We are one month into 2017 and we have already seen a massive increase in political activism and luckily for nonprofits, a lot of this activism has resulted in an increase in donations. It should be noted, however, that a lot of these donations are going to national organizations. So how do you make sure that, as a local nonprofit, you are receiving the benefit as well?
Twitter, for many reasons, is having a renaissance this year and both Instagram and Facebook have become outlets for many millenials to post thoughts, protest pictures and keep up with the ever-flowing news. This activism is new for millenials, and they'll either 1) disconnect completely or 2) jump all in. To keep them informed about your cause - and to turn them into donors - you need to prove how your mission is helping and ask for donations cautiously. Use your social media to inform how you need them to keep moving forward. Below we offer some tips on how to meet potential new donors where they are: on social media.
Instagram can be difficult for nonprofits to begin, but it is critical in reaching new, millennial donors. The Women's March has done a phenomenal job posting relevant, actionable content in the days preceeding and following the march. Here are some ways you can follow their lead:
- Content: Post pictures of your mission in action. Potential donors want to see what you do on this channel.
- Content: Use clear, concise wording on brightly colored background to get new donors on your mailing list. Sample messaging: We need you to help us continue fighting for X. Sign up for our email list to receive action items. Link in bio.
- Make sure you update the link in your Instagram bio with a clickable, actionable item. Note that links in the caption section of Instagram will not be clickable.
- Action: Send one action item per week (or month, depending on what you have for them to do). These need to be quick, tangible items. Sample Messagine: Call you senator on Tuesday at phone # __ and say __). Include all the information they need and a script.
If you use Instagram to ask for donations, do so sparingly and make sure you have a clickable link in your bio to send them straight to your donation site.
This one has a simple strategy: Create events both in person and online. Most people right now have a great need to know that other people - real live people - are with them.
- Content: Create events. Have a certain call to action? Create an event. Want to get a group of women together to knit hats? Create an event. Having something to attend - and showing others that you are going - has become an important part of this movement. While getting people together in person may seem counterintuitive with the heavy push on social media, millennials are looking to grasp onto anything in person, in reaction to the prevalence of an online community. The recent marches - if nothing else - proves that.
- Position yourself as a safe space where they can be heard, active and restored. We’ve said it multiple times but millennials value their time as much as their money, and if you get them in your doors (or at your event) they’ll start to move towards supporting you financially.
Like we said, it's having a comeback.
- Content: Highlight real news or legislation that affects your cause AND positive happenings that highlight to your donors that what you are doing is working. Twitter can become a dark rabbit hole of bad news and angry retweets. To keep your followers from disconnecting completely during this period of time, positive messaging is crucial.
- Action: Post your fundraising link often, but always include how that money will advance your mission. Show how the dollars lead to action.
- Action: Short, quick action items AND updates on how those action items are unfolding in real-time. Sample messaging: Your voices are being heard, the Senate moved back the confirmation hearings. Keep it up! Call again here: #.
- Action: Twitter threads are new and are being used frequently by reporters and activists. We created one of our Twitter that explains just how they work. See it here.
We'd be amiss if we didn't mention Snapchat when talking about reaching millenials. Snapchat has surpassed any other social channel as the most used by this generation, so if you can be effective - go for it. However, with Instagram's new story feature, that might be a better use of your time. Remember, you don't have to be on every social channel. It's better to not be on one than to not use it well. Choose which one(s) are best for you and focus your energy that way.
All of this activity is great, but how do you "measure" awareness? Click here to read more.